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Miss California, Beautiful…and Smart

By ATWadmin On May 13th, 2009 at 2:54 am

Background:  Twice now, in 2000 and 2008, California voters have gone to the polls and voted NOT to redefine “marriage.”  In California, “marriage” is between a man and a woman. Since the 2008 loss at the polls, Gay Activists have waged an aggressive campaign against those who financially support their opponents. They have outed the personal and work information of opponents on the net, and some have encouraged intimidation. Most recently, at the Miss USA pageant, Gay Activist and pageant judge, Perez Hilton, targeted Miss California.  Miss California stated her beliefs regarding marriage in response to a direct question;  along with President Obama and the majority of the voters in California, she believes that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman.  Photos, rumors, and insults appeared on the net and there was thought that her title might be revoked.  Pageant owner, Donald Trump, decided not to revoke her title. Below is beautiful Carrie Prejean, Miss California,  at her press conference. 

“On April 19th on that stage, I exercised my freedom of speech and I was punished for doing so.  This should NOT happen in America. It undermines the constitutional rights for which my grandfather fought for…

…not everyone may like me or agree with me but I hope that at the end of the day, everyone can respect my rights as I respect theirs. And together we can bring back civility, back to our social and cultural discussions.  

I am convinced now, more than ever, of the importance of standing up for your beliefs and convictions.  For everyone out there listening, do not be silenced. Take this story of mine and apply it to your own life.”

I hope I have inspired others to maintain compassion, civility, respect and tolerance while staying true to your convictions and to never, ever compromise your beliefs in the pursuit of your goals regardless of the consequences. …I want to share this message. ..Young adults and teenagers are greatly impacted by media and culture. And I want to encourage them to maintain their integrity and not to concede their values because of what they see or hear going on around them…It is this message that I will encorporate into my Miss California duties…Think how much better our society would be if we could just agree to disagree and show respect. ” 

 

COME YE BACK – MY INVITATION TO HER MAJESTY

By ATWadmin On May 12th, 2009 at 11:16 pm

I have to thank my fellow ATW writer (and closet Irish Nationalist) Andrew for putting me on to this story.  Apparently Niall O’Dowd, who runs the IRA apologist/bar promotion American newspaper “The Irish Voice” has latched onto another cause – he does not wish Queen Elizabeth II to visit the Republic of Ireland until Roman Catholics can ascend to the British Throne.

I have always found O’Dowd’s brand of Irish-Americanism more than a bit too much.  He has provided and unchecked forum for one-sided depictions of Irish and Northern Ireland issues that would make a Pravda editor blush.  How biased ye ask?  Gerry Adams is a contributing writer.  My favorite O’Dowd moment was his editorial protest of the depiction of Irish people in taverns in a movie, which he deplored as stereotyping – in the same paper that draws a non-shocking large volume of advertising trade from Irish-American pubs and features two page photospreads in bars every week.  

Now he wishes to intrude on Irish-British relations by calling for a snub of the British Head of State.   He does not, and I hope this doesn’t shock you, call for a snub of any other head of state despite the fact that they might not be open to members of all religions.  For O’Dowd, the ability to perpetuate antagonism with England is simply good business.  No doubt, he’ll start calling himself The New York One, to tie himself into the earlier struggles like the Guilford Four etc.  Like the Rev. Al Sharpton in America, it isn’t actual discrimination that he needs, the perception of discrimination will do – however meaningess.

Well he isn’t my voice, or the majority of Irish-American voices.  And I suspect he isn’t representative of the majority of Irish voices.  The Queen is the head of State of a neighbor of Ireland, a neighbor with whom relations are good, trade is critical and beneficial, and a neighbor with whom past differences are not as defining as present shared interests. 

The Queen is the Head of State of a fellow democracy.  The qualifications for her office and the merits of those qualifications are an issue for the people of the United Kingdom.   If he realy had an interest in the Peace Process (as opposed to an interest in getting what he could from it)  then he’d join me in welcoming the day she makes a visit.  But since he has another agenda, he denounces it.  If Mr. O’Dowd exercised any serious standard for those who write for his paper and what he himself writes, he might at least deserve a respectful audience for his opinion.   But that day has yet to come.    

       

GO NOW…

By ATWadmin On May 12th, 2009 at 9:27 pm

The role of Speaker of the House of Commons is an ancient one that goes back over 600 years.

Along the long journey through time there have been some great, some good and some not so brilliant Speakers. But the current Speaker Mad Gorbals Mick Martin is without doubt the worst there has ever been. He is partisan, arrogant, rude and above all else way out of his depth as we have all seen in the past few days as the expenses scandal threatens to engulf Parliament. Instead of reflecting the anger of the nation at the failure of Parliament to act honourably in regard to expenses claims, Martin has directed his anger at those who criticise the free-loaders. 

Martin was elevated to the role of Speaker by Tony Blair in 2000. WHY Blair chose him I do not know – he is old Labour to the core, coming from an inner city Glasgow constituency. He is also the first Roman Catholic to occupy this role. He is, most of all, a disaster.

Which is why strenous efforts are being made to jettison this waster.

Ministers have gone to Downing Street to tell Gordon Brown that the Speaker must go after his extraordinary outburst against two MPs yesterday, The Times can reveal.

Mr Brown must meet with David Cameron and Nick Clegg and agree that Michael Martin should go as soon as possible, ministers believe.

“He must be handed the pearl revolver,” a senior member of the Government said.

If he was handed a pearl revolver, he would only shoot himself in the foot! Or else ask for a gold plated one. In a way, Martin symbolises the decay of this Government – out of touch, out of excuses and soon, out of power.

Speaking back in 1653, Oliver Cromwell called it right when he dismissed the Rump Parliament with these stinging words…

“You have been sat to long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, i say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go!.”

American Takes on British Parliament

By ATWadmin On May 12th, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Heather Brooke, a Pennsylvanian born reporter, took on British Parliament and seems to have been the driving force behind the recent revelations in regard to British Parliament members’ abuse of power.

Three points that I would like to make:

1. It is in the public’s best interest to have easy access to information when it comes to keeping an eye on elected leaders’ behavior in office.

2. Dishonest people will adjust their behavior if they know that the things they choose to do will come to light.

3. Apathy is a freedom killer.

I realize that MP’s are entitled to a certain amount of expenditure as a part of their benefits for serving – the important piece of this is: how they spend that money IS important to the people who have put them into office, and abuse of that privilege is probable if their spending is not a matter of public record.

I also have a question:

Is apathy toward government excess a common trait amongst our British friends? I only ask because this quote from the article caught my eye. The young lady, Brooke, was heard to say, “I think there’s a culture of deference here, where the public believe that people who are in power — the great and the good — still know what’s best for everyone.”

This surprises me if true, and underlines a large difference between American values and British values. Americans are raised with the belief that our elected leaders are probably scum and one must constantly keep an eye on them. This would include vociferously standing up to the arrogance of those in office – and also NOT judging a person based on what ‘class’ they may belong to. We really are not impressed by a person’s pedigree – beyond that it can be an interesting conversation to see how many nationalities are scattered in our various backgrounds.

Apathy, a condition found in abundance on both sides of the pond, will only encourage the unrestrained growth of corrupted government.

Monica

Cross posted at Grizzly Mama.

FARMER JIM, MADONNA AND THE NEED FOR CHANGE

By ATWadmin On May 12th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Look at this smiling visage imploring you to do the decent thing and  “vote for change”. Can you resist?

This mugshot, in every sense of the word, is of Ulster Unionist Party MEP candidate Big Jim Nicholson.

Jim is standing for the 5th time for Brussels – having been first elected in 1989. That’s quite a long time ago, you know. Madonna has just had a Number One with “Like a Prayer” and winning the European seat was the answer to a prayer for Farmer Jim.

Like so many Ulster Unionists, Jim comes from a farming background and is not be underestimated when it comes to identifying the front end from the rear end of a cow. His opponents fail to recognise this talent -so useful in modern politics. When it comes to cowsh*t, Jim knows what he is talking about, my friends.

Now then, Jim won his seat in 1989 and so impressed his party that he has been standing ever since. In 1994, 1999 ….and then into the new century in 2004 and now yet again in 2009. Evidently there is no one else amongst UUP ranks who can support the mantle and manage the subtle intricacies of European debate like Jim can.

And how, you may ask, has Jim’s vote been going over the decades? Well, alas it is like Ulster Unionist fortunes, because the direction has been downwards!

In 1989, Jim fooled 118,000 people into giving him a vote – a tremendous achievement. But by 2004, this mesmerizing power had faded and only 91,000 suckers sophisticates supported him. The challenge for Jim in 2009 is can he get this figure to under 80,000?

It’s a challenge that he has gamely embraced. As you can see from his poster – he declares that it IS “Time for Change”. Since his candidature is a a constant, can we presume that the rascal is inviting supporters to vote for someone else?

What else COULD this “change” refer to? Ah yes – to the new marriage of convenience between the Ulster Unionists and the Conservative Party. Make no mistake – Jim IS a conservative. He wants to conserve the benefits that come from being an MEP on a tasty salary plus some nice expenses. He really means it.

What is he offering us in his detailed manifesto – the more politically savvy of you may enquire in a drunken moment? (No sober person would waste their time wondering this)

Well, he is concerned about inaccurate labelling, as you can read on his site. I’m with him -on this after all he calls himself a Conservative! He’s also discovered that apparently we need to worry less about the Lisbon treaty and focus more on putting the Lisbon agenda for economic growth foremost. He is also dedicated to cutting red tape! This -after 20 years sitting in a forum that has wrapped so much red tape around us that we can barely breathe. What a guy!

It’s a wonderful manifesto, superficially lightweight, but on studied reflection, transparently weightless. The UUP defy the laws of physics and can replicate zero gravitas on earth.

Seriously, it’s my view that the Ulster Unionist Party has missed the chance to offer the electorate real change. A new and younger face SHOULD have been chosen and a more dynamic manifesto that at least addressed the BIG issues – such as the European Constitution – hammered home. Instead we have sunny Jim, with a new hairstyle, back for another five years in the euro trough.

The kindest thing one could say about Jim’s recent TV appearance on the “Hearts and Minds” political programme (Now ethnically cleansed of yours truly!) is that it was a slow-mo car crash. Poor Jim not only had no answers but he didn’t understand the questions. If this is how he handles a straightforward interview, how on earth can he be effective in a European Parliament of hundreds more capable, or at least capable of stringing together a few sentences without the listener grimacing in agony?

Will he be returned by the NI electorate in just over three weeks time? I think he will.

Will it benefit this country? In no discernible way.

Will it ensure UUP coffers bulge that little bit more over the next five years? Of course. That’s the point.

The Ulster Unionist and Conservative amalgam – as represented here by Jim Nicholson – sums up all that is wrong about the EU. It is transparently deceptive, focused on preserving power and will no nothing to improve the quality of our democracy.  Wondering why so many unionist voters rally around such political ineptitude is rather like why wondering why lemmings jump off a cliff – it’s just what the faithful do. 

ATW Open Thread

By ATWadmin On May 12th, 2009 at 6:35 pm

A random choice of imagery…

 – The Burning of the Houses of Parliament, JMW Turner, 1835.

All busy on the capitalist front here, dear reader. So play nicely and have yourselves an open thread.

ANYONE BUT THE BNP?

By ATWadmin On May 12th, 2009 at 8:33 am

Wonder what you make of former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit urging people to boycott the major political parties at next month’s European elections.

Lord Tebbit told BBC Radio 4’s Today voters were angry with the current crop of MPs and urged them to fire a “shot across the bows” of the big parties. He held back from endorsing one of the smaller parties but stressed that he did not want people to vote BNP.

I understand his point but wonder why NOT the BNP? 

He should simply have said he would invite voters to punish the AVARICE displayed by the current crop of major parties by voting for ANY other party of their choice. This singling out the BNP for martyr status is wrong. I don’t agree with the BNP but then again I don’t agree with most political parties, however I do not seek to ban them. People should be invited to vote for whoever they want. Selective democracy is no democracy. I don’t agree with Sinn Fein, for example, a party much  much worse than the BNP but they have a right to organise and seek an electoral mandate. Surely the same logic applies to the BNP? 

Burn, baby, Burn!

By ATWadmin On May 12th, 2009 at 8:27 am

I noted with considerable satisfaction the High Court’s decision to refuse the appeal of ‘devout Hindu’ Davinder Ghai to overturn a Newcastle City Council decision to refuse him an open-air funeral pyre. I also note, again with considerable satisfaction, that one of the Judges stated that “while it was a difficult and sensitive issue, the court had to respect the conclusion of elected representatives. Those in support of pyres would have to change the ‘present balance of interests’ through the political process, rather than the courts,” Mr Justice Cranston said. I was less satisfied to learn Mr. Ghai has been given leave to appeal!

Now it is a fact that Hinduism, a subject upon which I have both posted and commented upon previously, is a religion which holds sway over some 850 million Indians alone, but also is a belief which has many facets apart from a requirement to burn their dead in open bonfires. Hinduism routinely discriminates against some twenty percent of the Indian population in an arrangement which classifies people from before their birth into a category which condemns them to be the lowest of the low in Indian society. This classification, known in India as a Dalit, or to use the translated literal term ‘Untouchable’, designates the people who are ‘awarded’ this status as people who are only fit to clean human sewage! Dalits are treated as less than slaves in much of India, with laws designed to remove or reduce discrimination routinely ignored, and the Caste system, which is one of the pillars of the Hindu culture, is rigid in it’s determination that things will not change.

So why should ordinary British people be asked to alter their traditions to accomodate a ‘Brahmin’ who believes in total separation from his fellow countrymen in life, so that he might be treated totally differently from ordinary English people in death? 

AS BRITISH AS CAN BE..?

By ATWadmin On May 12th, 2009 at 8:10 am

Are there ANY recognisably British people left in Britain?

The reason I ask is prompted by this story…

Two British nationals arrested in Syria almost two months ago have been accused of involvement with terror network Al Qaeda, it emerged today. Mother-of-four Maryam Kallis and Yasser Ahmed were detained separately in the capital city of Damascus by the country’s feared secret police. According to the Syrian authorities, Mrs Kallis, 36, of west London has been raising funds for an organisation linked to the extremist group

More recently we had “British National “alleged Jihadist Binyam Mohammad returned as a hero. Then of course we had alleged Jihadist Moazzem Beggs. Again, British.

Funny how so many “British National” people seem to have such an interest in foreign travel and then, unluckily, somehow get caught up in Islamic terrorism.

Rt Hon Myra Hindley MP

By ATWadmin On May 12th, 2009 at 6:20 am

I’ve just finished reading ‘The Devil and Miss Jones: The Twisted Mind of Myra Hindley’by Janie Jones.  It’s a book that mainly concentrates on Hindley’s incarceration as opposed to focusing on the hideous crimes that put her behind bars.  Jones, quite correctly, gives Hindley no quarter.  She is particularly scathing of people such as Lord Longford, who she believes were continuously hoodwinked by an individual not repenting out of a genuine sense of guilt, but rather feigning contrition as a means to garner sympathy and support to further her primary objective – release from prison.  Fortunately, nature prevented her from realising her dream as Hindley died aged 60 (on my birthday as a matter of fact) in 2002.

My point is that Hindley was a person who ‘showed remorse’ for her crimes not because of sincerity, but because she had been caught in the first place.  Notwithstanding the differences in severity and emphasis, the scandal and subsequent apologies from MPs of various parties makes you wonder whether they have some of the same character traits as Hindley herself.  Of course I’m not suggesting a penchant for terror and murder (unless we are talking about the MPs for Belfast West, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Mid Ulster, Newry and Armagh and West Tyrone), rather a strong inclination to appeal to the general public’s sympathy due solely to the discovery of their transgressions, not the trangressions themselves.

Whether it be MPs from the Tory, Labour or Lib-Dem benches, they are all now falling over themselves to grovel to the electorate to a degree that would compare favourably with Angie Dickinson’s pleas to Lee Marvin in the closing scenes of The Killers.  Are they truly sorry?  Are they hell!  They’re just pissed at having been caught defrauding taxpayers money to spend on maids, renovations, moat cleaning and hard-core pornography.  If ever there was a case for a completely independent auditing body to control the tendencies of these 600+ leeches, now is the time.